Ferocious Angels Sing: NaPoWriMo

Persephone returns, laughs, and the world blooms anew,

yellow-green, pink, and white,

Corn Mother awakens, belly swollen with the seeds of life,

birds sing sweetly as the season turns

till the sky grows dark, crashes, and burns,

the world in flames and children are hungry

 

The song of ferocious angels lingers in the air

 

Unchanging, conflicts and battles

besiege the enemy, starve them in ghettos

enslave them, kill them all

(they are not us,

we are not them)

ancient tactics, mad men and fools with their bully cries,

rape the women, grab the prize

the rivers red with blood

 

The song of ferocious angels lingers in the air

 

And will it change, and do we care?

you can’t eat gold, or oil,

we can’t live on air

(they are us,

we are them,)

brothers and sisters, children of Earth

 

The song of ferocious angels lingers in the air

 

 

 

This is for NaPoWriMo: Day 11, a bop poem.

The form is described on the site this way:

“Like a Shakespearean sonnet, it introduces, discusses, and then solves (or fails to solve) a problem. Like a song, it relies on refrains and repetition. In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain. Here’s an example of a Bop poem written by Weaver, and here’s another by the poet Ravi Shankar.”

Kerfe had me thinking of “ferocious angels,”   Unfortunately, the rest of the poem is ripped from history and headlines, unless you live in Sean Spicer’s fantasy world.

 

 

 

 

The Echo of Mothers’ Cries: #Haibun

 

Demeter_rejoiced,_for_her_daughter_was_by_her_side

Walter Crane [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, from The Story of Greece Told to Boys and Girls by Mary MacGregor (1914)

 

I bid farewell to my husband and our cold, dark home. I walk uphill, placing six pomegranate seeds in my mouth. The burst of tartness on my tongue staves my hunger as I travel from the gloomy shadow world. I exit and taste the honeyed sweetness of the air. Freedom. Gazing at the horizon, I watch the Sun God’s golden steeds pull his chariot above the horizon, trailing coral flames. The day glows with promise.  A robin looks at me quizzically, then lets out a delighted trill.  I am no longer a matron; I am reborn, young, virginal. I answer the robin with a girlish giggle. As I laugh, the grass begins to grow, flowers bloom, and buds appear on the trees. I savor my brief time here. Mother, I am home.

 

Captured, bound, and wed

tethered by hunger and seeds,

Persephone’s fate

ancient Greece, Nigeria

mothers’ cries echo through time

 

My daughter is here. Alive! Her belly is swollen with the seed of her abductor. Her eyes haunted, she gives me a tremulous smile. I open my arms and embrace her–once again.

 

This Haibun is for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. The prompt words were light and dark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icarus: A Tanka

Rising, a man-bird

weightless, embracing the clouds,

heedless in his youth,

soaring with wax-crafted wings

he falls, forever at sea

 

cat665-cons

“The Fall of Icarus,” Copy after Peter Paul Rubens

John G. Johnson Collection, 1917, Philadelphia Museum of Art

 

This is for  Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge

The prompt words were “craft” and “rise.”

 

 

Moonstruck

 

samuel_palmer_-_kornfeld_im_mondenschein

Samuel Palmer, Kornfeld im Mondenschein,” [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Before the dawn, I saw the moon,

her father nearby, he stood there forthright,

seeking her radiance, no, not immune

to her empyrean charm, her pale, silver light.

 

Her father nearby, he stood there forthright

with pride in the memory, he thought of her birth,

to her empyrean charm, her pale, silver light

flirting with shadows, brightening the earth.

 

With pride in the memory, he thought of her birth

as if in a trance, the twins, moon and sun

flirting with shadows, brightening the earth

timeless and time-bound, till time is done

 

I hear her humming, I hear the song,

seeking her radiance, no, not immune

to magic moonlight, in still-darkness of morn

before the dawn, I saw the moon.

 

A Pantoum for Secret Keeper’s Writing Challenge.

The prompt words were: Birth/Trance/Pride/Seek/Flirt

When I walked outside this morning to get the newspaper (support the press!), I was struck by the beauty of the bright sliver of moon with Jupiter by her side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Golden Egg: Microfiction

varnadragons

 

Journal Entry, 4773

Ambassador Armstrong and I traded stories after dinner. I enjoyed hers about the boy who flew too close to the sun. She admired our language, saying it reminded her of the birdsongs of her planet. In response, I told her this tale:

Eons ago, great, winged creatures inhabited our planet. The Mianthx were massive, lumbering creatures, powerful of body, but dull of mind, and without our grace and beauty. Unlike us, with our shimmering, varigated feathers, they were covered in dull, grey-green scales.

There was Mianthx prophecy that foretold the appearance of a golden egg—from which a great leader would be born. And one day, an ordinary Mianthx produced such an egg and showed it to her mate. The couple was overjoyed. It was their first egg. They shared in its care, keeping it warm in their birth pouches. When the birth-time came, their family members and officials (alerted to the news of the golden egg) gathered around to witness the event. The midwife helped the Mianthx couple with the hatching process, but all fell silent when a small being with soft, downy, multi-colored feathers appeared.

“It’s so strange-looking,” some onlookers whispered, “and what are those odd sounds it’s making?”

However, her parents loved her and called her Dulcka, or “Dear One.” As Dulcka grew older, she became a being of wondrous beauty, with feathers glowing and iridescent in the light. Her appearance was matched by the kindness of her soul, and by her mellifluous voice, like a chorus of flutes—so unlike the raspy voices of those around her. She became beloved by all.

One day the world was threatened by a vast, dark cloud that was starting to block the sun. Without light and heat, all life would perish. Dulcka flew high in the air, higher than any of the Mianthx had ever flown. There she sang to the wind, telling it to blow the cloud away. So powerful was her voice, that the wind obeyed her, and the cloud was dispersed, letting the sun shine down once again on our planet. Dulcka was lauded for her deed and re-named Melasios, or silver-voiced leader.

In time, Melasios mated with one of the Mianthx, and they had a baby, who was born with soft, downy variegated feathers. It is said we are all descended from Melasios.

 

This story is for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge, using the sculpture pictured above. And once again, I’m way over the word count.

This story is a sequel to this story.

 

 

 

Penelope Waits: Magnetic Poetry

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-6-48-01-pm

 

 

Hero fascinated by fighting,

she, sad quiet at home,

a heart full of love.

Goddess protect him—

light night-hours,

in morning,

a gentle promise,

she has hope.

 

The Oracle seems to be bringing me women in history. Last week was Joan of Arc; and this week, Penelope (the wife of Odysseus), though I would not imagine her so passive. I’ve added punctuation.

This is for Magnetic Poetry Saturday  at Mr. Elusive Trope’s Specks and Fragments.

 

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Penelope,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

dante_gabriel_rossetti_-_penelope

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “Penelope,” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

The Splendor of Light

the_story_of_the_sun_moon_and_stars_1898_14778865395By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

 

She laughs and flames shoot from her chariot

moving through the sky. She will carry it,

(the splendor of light), and with lariat

she’ll rein in her gilded steeds, ferry it,

the glow, from dawn to dusk with merry wit.

 

She brings joy, life, pulses to beautify.

Her companion stars though, she sees them cry,

their tears shoot out, then streak across the sky.

Still she laughs, shares her light, as she rides by.

Someday she’ll fade, turn black–and then she’ll sigh.

 

This is a response of sorts to Jane Dougherty’s non-challenge.

Jane found the rather strange image above. It’s supposed to be a sunspot, and it comes from an 1898 book called The Story of the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. I started thinking about sunspots, and then this story that I read recently about an unusual star that pulses and behaves erratically. I started thinking about what could cause this, and naturally I concluded the star pulses when it laughed. In honor of Jane, the poem is two stanzas of her Fifty Poetry Form (Does that make it a one hundred?): five lines of ten syllables each, with the last word of each line rhyming.

 

 

The Seafarer

Rylov_Blue_Expanse

In the Blue Expanse, by Arkady Rylov, Wikipedia

 

He had been away,

months or decades,

so long he’d lost track of time

though he sometimes heard it murmur

like a stream,

it flowed one way, splintering off occasionally

into muddy pools,

slowing,

bogged down,

but he was an old man now,

and somehow that stream was flowing faster,

He wondered why that was,

why the present raced by in a flash,

as he got older,

glory and adventure were overrated,

he thought, though he’d had both,

he’d fought monsters

and the sirens’ song

he splintered ships

and quashed rebellions

sparked by greed and arrogance.

He was called Odysseus,

but he was every sailor,

every wanderer.

He wondered if his wife was still alive,

or his dog.

(He loved that dog.)

He watched the sky light up,

pearlescent, glowing, reflecting,

he wondered if the gods favored him this time,

hoping profoundly that they did,

he’d had his fill of wandering.

Above him, the geese performed an aerial ballet,

he watched them,

as they changed direction,

he followed, setting a new course

steering his ship

home.

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge. This week’s prompt is the painting above.  Suggested words: Aerial/profound/murmur/splintering/spark  There is no particular poetic form this week; mine is free verse.

 

 

 

 

Artemis

'Silence,_Waterfall_and_Forest'_by_Arthur_Bowen_Davies,_Dayton_Art_Institute

 

In the cascade of tumbling water, I find peace

calm between the iridescent streams,

flowing like silver tresses rippling in the wind.

 

My beloved fawn keeps watch beside me

both of us seeking refuge in this place,

in the cascade of tumbling water, I find peace.

 

Once I longed to abandon my virgin state,

now, I hunt with arrows and bow, then rest

calm between the iridescent streams.

 

An eagle soars high above me, I think of him

he, gilded by moonlight, the grape vines heavy with fruit,

flowing like silver tresses rippling in the wind.

 

This is in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge.

The challenge this week is a cascade poem. There is no rhyme scheme. The first line of the a three line verse becomes the last line of verse two; the second line become the last line of verse three, and the third line of verse one becomes the last line of the verse four. For a longer cascade poem, add more lines to the first verse.

The prompt this week was the picture above and these words: cascade/tresses/eagle/abandon/rippling

 

 

 

Dusk in the Peacock Garden

 

Marie_Spartali_Stillman_-_A_lady_with_peacocks_in_a_garden,_an_Italianate_landscape_beyondMy love has crossed the wine-dark sea

At dusk I seek our shrine of dreams

Each night I climb the hilltop path

Each night I stop and do the math

 

The years I count, much more than three

My love has crossed the wine-dark sea

As indigo falls, peacocks sing

Resplendent eyes on feathered wing

 

Their song, a cry, fleeting sorrow

Forbidden grief, come tomorrow

My love has crossed the wine-dark sea

Over the hills, away from me

 

I carry these blooms, his favorite

I smell their scent, and savor it

Peacock garden, I’ll never flee

My love has crossed the wine-dark sea

 

Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Prompt this week used the painting above

And these words: indigo/cry/night bird/fleeting/forbidden

I didn’t use “night bird,” but I did use night and peacocks. Doug of Elusive Trope inspired me to write a Quatern. It was exactly the form I wanted for this poem. So thank you!